Project Tourism

By Sparrow Adaeze with additional report by Iroroh Frank.
The Delta North Senator- elect and Nigeria’s foremost tourism investor and promoter, Hon (Prince) Ned Nwoko, has  once again taken revolutionary steps towards mass involvement of Nigerians in exploiting the tourism potentials in the country and developing them to the highest level of global attentions.

On Tuesday 2nd April, 2019, the Star Prince of Anioma nation, as Prince Ned Nwoko is fondly called, took a giant step forward in his determination to consolidate on his efforts in tourism development in the country. He did this by unveiling a national body, *PROJECT TOURISM DEVELOPMENT,* to analyse, plan and implement all the necessary steps aimed at ensuring all-round identification of tourism sites and elements in the country, to harness them to grow the tourism industry in the country.
PROJECT TOURISM DEVELOPMENT is an initiative of Prince Ned Nwoko and the initiative is being powered by Linas International Limited, a company owned by the Delta North Senator-elect. The project is jointly promoted by the company and the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC.

Addressing the audience during the unveiling ceremony of the PROJECT, Prince Ned Nwoko said,”Project Tourism is an initiative that has the potential of helping the country meet the increasing demands of her citizens. Through it, we can showcase our dance, food, culture and every element of the cultural Iife of our country.In Nigeria, there is no organised sector with Government support to promote tourism. Tourism must be nurtured, tourism must be put together, tourism must be taken care of,” he emphasized.
He added,”In most civilised countries, tourism contribute close to 70% of annual national earnings.Today, we have come together to see how private sectors can help grow tourism in the country”.
Continuing, he stated, “the primary mission of the PROJECT amongst other things, are to project the rich tourism assets of Nigeria and to run profitable projects that will highlight the country’s hospitality culture as well as her rich cultural endowments.” 

Hon Ned Nwoko went further to outline the programme of the organization to include:
1. GRASSROOT SPORTS DEVELOPMENT -This encompasses the involvement of all the Local Government Council chairmen across the country, who are to enter into talks with the PROJECT COORDINATORS to ensure that sports are included in their annual local government programmes, because sporting activities are very important part of tourism;All the Local Government Areas in the country have to key into the PROJECT;We should organise annual catch-them-young sport competitions to discover potential sports talents and train them.
To encourage tourists to visit the country, the PROJECT have to find families who are willing to accommodate tourists and we will be supporting such families to make sure they have what it takes to host such guests.
3. CULTURAL VILLAGE – The PROJECT shall ensure that every state identifies and supports villages in their territories that are culturally and geographically rich in tourist features.For example, in Delta state, Idumuje-Ugboko has rich culture and geographic features that are delight to behold. There is also Mount Ned Nwoko Tourists Resort. Similar communities should be identified and supported by the various states. Focusing on Delta State, we love our culture and traditions. The state has monuments and  tourist locations. In a book on tourism sites in the state, it is explicit that the state contains 27 tourist locations. Incidentally, three (3) of these locations are in Idumuje -Ugboko. 
As the name implies, it involves Nigerians coming together with responsibility of promoting Nigerian tourism. There will be annual competitions where people would win prizes. I know that a lot of money is needed to start the road show, we need committed people to help execute the programme. It is proposed to start July this year.

After spelling out the goals of the PROJECT and its areas of focus, Hon (Prince) Ned Nwoko donated the sum of  One Hundred Million Naira (N100m) to the PROJECT as a take off grant. 
Responding to the address by the Chairman, its National Coordinator, Chief F. O. Anumba said, “I want to thank Hon (Prince) Ned Nwoko most immensely for initiating this laudable project. “With this progressive collaboration between Linas International Limited and the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, I have  no doubt that the time for tourism boom in Nigeria is now.”
The media Launch of the PROJECT was held at BON Hotel, Elvis, Abuja and was attended by many dignitaries and officials from National Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC , Nollywood actors and actresses, like Ejike Asiegbu, Apostle Eucharia Anunobi, Chinda Monalisa, Francis Duru and others.The organizations that were present included: National Children’s Park, Zoo Ambassadors, representatives of higher institutions, the private and public primary and secondary schools across the country etc.Foreign missions in Nigeria were also well represented. The media were not left out of the event   NTA, Galaxy TV, AIT, Channel TV, LTV, News Agency of Nigeria and a host of others were there too.